For some time now, I have been following a blog written by someone who went to the same primary school as I did. Recently it became apparent that we were in the same year group, but not the same academic stream. After completing the 1st year in class ‘1a’, I was moved down into the ‘b’ stream where I stayed for the rest of the time.
The main memory that this blogger’s post triggered was leaving Primary School and moving to Secondary School. The year is 1965 and I’m thinking it is around September/October time. My father had left his job as a reasonably well paid coal miner because of health problems, and was now working as a bus conductor for what was then the West Yorkshire Road Car company. Times were beginning to get quite tough. Our house was heated by coal fires and as a miner we received, every three months a concessionary supply of coal. What I mean by the word ‘concessionary’ is free. Every three months we would have 1 cwt of coal dropped into the street, which was quickly shovelled into the coal cellar. After leaving the coal industry, this free coal stopped. That and the reduction in dad’s wages were beginning to bite a little.
I seem to remember both my parents and me sitting in the classroom, with my form teacher (may have been a Mr Woods, but I cannot remember) discussing my Secondary education. It was quite plausible it was said that I could go to the Grammar School at Roundhay. I had heard through my school friends at the time that this would be an expensive time. I would have to have a full School Uniform. This consisted of a blazer ( least one) two pairs of black trousers, a number white shirts, a school tie and a pair of black lace-up shoes. There was also a football kit, rugby kit and a PE kit. There was no way my parents could afford that amount of spend. There was a discussion around the fact, that all this uniform was available at a certain store in Leeds, but … it was possible to buy the same clothes as second hand from the school. That was a non-starter, as I had heard on the school grapevine, that everyone would know they were second hand, simply by their condition. This would automatically lead to bullying. I was not going to have that. I began to hope that I would fail my “11 Plus”.
The two subjects that I was apparently good at were Arithmetic and Religious Education. I began to wonder what would happen if I made a mess of those two subjects and I decided to ensure that I would answer some the questions incorrectly. Which is what I did. To this day nobody believes me, but I know I did get some questions wrong on purpose, so who knows. All I know is that I ended up going to the school I preferred and not the Grammar school.
I’ll get to the point in a moment. First a little background.
Last week my wife and me had a few days away in the Derbyshire Peak District. We were staying a a cottage, on a farm and were there for four nights. The cottage was not up to our usual expectations and was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m not going to dwell on that. We are both members of the National Trust and it was our intention to spend the days enjoying the sights of a number of the Trust’s properties that were in the area.
Now, here comes the ‘point’ that I mention. All the properties we visited are of some historical importance, and at least one (Hardwick Hall) is very significant in relation to the royal families of Britain. So given that these places are so important historically, it makes good sense that children are introduced them. I don’t have an issue with that. What I do take issue with, is parents that allow their offspring to just run wild. A question … why, when visiting a historical site, do you thin k it is a good idea for your children to take one of the following with them a) a football, b) a scooter and c) even a bicycle ? There are thousands of public parks in this country that children can ‘play’, why take them to a historical site to ‘play’? Many of the sites have even built specific safe play areas for kids. Then there is the noise factor. Why is it necessary to run around a 17th century church burial ground shouting and screaming? It would never have happened when I was young, and neither of my sons would even think that kind of behaviour is appropriate.
But I do not put all the blame on the children. The fault lies with the parents. The people who have brought them up to behave in that way. They are the ones that are the cause of the problem.
But not all the children were like what I have described. A small number were very well behaved. However, that n umber was very small.
The title of this post says it all really….. it has been a while since my last post. But I’ve not had a lot to say !!! Well not anything that may be described as interesting. Work is still the same … no more news on the review/restructure. Still the usual issues with R***, the youngest. Oh, but wait a minute. I almost forgot ….. S****, the eldest lad has got a new girlfriend. And this time, they are both giving out the ‘hey guys, this is a serious relationship’ signals !!!! No, all joking apart, they’ve been together about a month, that we know about, and they seem very very happy. We have met her parents, even been for a meal together, which was quite a pleasant evening. It is so serious, that the grandmothers have met !!!! Need I say more !!
Now, about this blog. I am struggling at time to think of something to write about. I have no specialist knowledge that I can pass on, so it is basically a random record of my life. Now, I’m not sure if that is enough to blog about. For the majority of the time, it follows the same pattern ….
- I wake up
- I go to work
- I come home
- I have dinner
- We cope with R***
- We go to bed
- We sleep with one eye and one ear open
- Goto item 1.
And that for the main part is it. Exciting what !!
At this moment in time, I am sat here, with a glass of Brandy, waiting for R*** to settle, and S**** to get in from the pub. I feel absolutely buggered and I’m up at six in the morning to start the whole shebang again. What a life !!!! Tell you what though ….. would not have it any other way !!! (Note to self…. stop bloody moaning then…)
A strange question you may ask, but bear with me. At the end of the village, there are two bottle banks. The City Council is responsible for emptying them and I would say they do a satisfactory job for most of the time. The problem arises when the banks get full. People want to ‘do their bit’ but are not prepared to come back another day, if the banks are full. They just leave them at the side of the banks, in the vain hope that when they get emptied, the contractor will put their bottles in for them. At best, they just get smashed by kids, as behind the bottle bank, is an area that some kids tend to use as a den. It is about three metre square and has a hedge, backing onto a field, which is how the kids get in. It is an ideal place for them to drink their cheap cider and smoke whatever they are smoking these days. Basically get involved in anti-social behaviour.
Now, how does the Council overcome this. Do they make sure the kids cannot get to the back of the bottle banks? Do they ask the Police to patrol more in that area? Do they write to the parents, telling them what some kids are getting up to. None of those, and this is where my post title comes in. The Council has put a sign up advising everyone that CCTV is in operation !! Well, you might say, that would be a deterrent. It would, if there was a CCTV camera in place. As it is, there is nowhere to put a camera. What would it show? All it would show, is people putting bottles into a bottle bank. As the kids get into their ‘den’ from the field behind, it would not pick them up. So, is a lie a deterrent ? Not in my book is isn’t.
Eldest is back from rehearsals. Quite a bit earlier than I expected. But guess what !!!! No programme details !!! I’ve asked to go and see them tomorrow, to get the details. If I don’t have them for tomorrow evening, then I do not think it will get done in time. There will be a lot of typing and error checking, especially the children’s name. Parents do get worked up if their offspring do not get a proper mention. I have the design done, and I suppose I could get the scene/act list from the script, but I want to get it right. I’m beginning to get a reputation for this.
Youngest has just gone to his bed. He dropped off to sleep at around 05:30pm, but that was too early. He had not had his tea, and if he had gone to bed then, then I could see him being awake very early again.
Right …… need to sleep!
Eldest home safe and sound, although I’m not too sure he wanted to come home really. He did not talk much about his few days away, but says he enjoyed it. He is at that age when talking to parents is not what should be done.
A very pleasant drive to Beverley. A lot quicker this time, as I knew the route. It took about an hour each way, but the traffic was very light. I got there a bit too early though. When I rang him, he was just eating, so I went to the pub just around the corner. It was one of those ‘Happy Eater’ kind of pubs, and it was absolutely packed. Full of families.
I would like to have a day there again. We went a long time ago, I think on the way back from Hornsea. It was strange driving past the race course though. There were cows wandering into the road !! No fences to keep them in! Just wandering.
Quick chat with C**** tonight. She seems quite well. Crazy girl. No one else is saying hello, so might as well call it for tonight.